The speech sounds of the ra (ら)-column are produced by stroking lightly the tip of the tongue against the upper alveolar ridge (tooth ridge) before retracting it immediately. For those whose tongues did not come into contact with this placement when slowly pronouncing ra (ら), ri (り), ru (る), re (れ), and ro (ろ), again remember to position your tongue so that the tip of it touches the upper alveolar ridge.
Even for those who could position the tips of their tongues against the upper alveolar ridge when pronouncing the ra (ラ)-column sounds, must be careful not to have the pronunciation of the ra (ラ)-column confused with the pronunciations of the na (ナ) and da (ダ)-columns. For example, the consonant sounds of the da (ダ) and ra (ラ)-column frequently become mixed up ハタラク(hataraku (to work) →ハタダク hatadaku); also the ra (ラ)-column can be mistaken for the consonant sounds of the na (ナ)-column サヨウナラ (sayounara (good-bye)→サヨウナナ sayounana , ラ イゲツ ra igetsu (next month)→ ナ イゲツ na igetsu); in addition consonants of the ra (ラ)-column sounds can be inadvertentlyomitted ( レ ンラク re nraku (contact)→ エ ンラク e nraku); or the consonant sounds of the na (ナ) and da (ダ)-columns can be incorrectly substituted by the consonant sounds of the ra (ラ)-column (コドモ kodomo (children)→コロモ koromo, オメデトウ omedetō (congratulations)→オメレトウ omeretō, ダ ンシ da nshi (male)→ ラ ンシ ra nshi, ド ロボウ do robō (thief)→ ロ ロボウ ro robō, ハネル haneru (to jump)→ハレル hareru, ナ ンボク na nboku (North-South)→ ラ ンボク ra nboku).
Confusions occur because lingual positions where the tip of the tongue makes contact are similar when pronouncing speech sounds from the na (ナ), da (ダ), and ra (ラ)-columns. There are little differences between the pronunciations, but it is mainly the way the tip of the tongue makes contact that causes a slight change for each sound. To produce ra (ラ)-column sounds, first place your tongue so that it does not come into contact with any other surface before flicking briefly its tip to the upper tooth ridge. For na (ナ) and da (ダ)-column sounds, the edge of the tongue covers the palate and the upper alveolar ridge to form a closure right from the beginning, before withdrawing it all at once.